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Unai Emery should consider offering Arsenal defender as Zaha bait – opinion

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Arsenal are entering the business end of the transfer window with little to show for their efforts in the market so far.

Tuesday’s confirmation of Gabriel Martinelli’s arrival was a welcome sign as The Gunners finally made their first summer signing.

Earlier this week, the club reportedly bid £40m in an attempt to capture Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, but with that not looking too likely to be successful, Unai Emery may have to get creative with Arsenal not thought to have much more in the bank to play with in terms of money.

Therefore, adding players into the mix may have to come into play for Arsenal – with little over a month of the transfer window remaining and few changes to the playing squad to suggest an improvement is on the horizon for The Gunners.

But who to choose? Well, given Palace are thought to be ‘embarrassed’ by Arsenal’s approach with their initial bid, perhaps tempting with a former target of theirs would be Emery’s best course of action.

Calum Chambers was being eyed up by Palace two years ago, back when The Eagles had Frank De Boer at the helm. Having had an impressive season at Fulham last term, he has proved his worth at this level despite limited opportunities at Arsenal since joining the club in 2014.

Rated at £12.6m, he would certainly act as a decent makeweight in the Zaha deal should Palace still be interested – and there’s surely little argument in Chambers having an easier time in breaking into the first team at Selhurst Park than at The Emirates with reports linking Arsenal with new defenders in recent weeks. This way, there seems to be a scenario where all parties can benefit.

Arsenal’s need for a top-quality winger probably outweighs their need to withhold Chambers’ services as a result, and should definitely consider offering him up to Crystal Palace to sweeten the deal.

While it would be rather refreshing to see Chambers fight for his place at Arsenal, with time running out in the transfer window and the ball seemingly on Arsenal’s side of the court, their supposed lack of funds means selling existing assets from within the Gunners squad may be the best way to avoid paying top-dollar for Zaha.

With no major outgoings as yet at the club, it seems unlikely that they will be able to financially up their bid for the Ivorian in the near future – meaning sacrifices may have to be made for Emery’s Arsenal rebuild to take the shape he wants.

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